I know I am very behind, I’ve been meaning to do this for a while.. I have now finally got my ass into gear and decided it is about time I share one of the best experiences of my life! And this is where I start from the very beginning…
I have, since I can remember always wanted to volunteer at a festival. With this though comes applications, pressure and uncertainties. It is this which I have always shied away from. The fear of my application being rejected, always put me off applying for things. Walking through the college canteen I was stopped by previous festival volunteers handing out leaflets to sign up for the job this year. So I signed up and was given details of how to apply. I was in two mind sets about it and for a few days. I forgot about it for a short while, then all of a sudden I was sat at my desk and thought, screw it I need to be active in my life and start getting over my fears. I sat with the application on my computer screen for a while with the cursor flickering.. I was so nervous but all of a sudden I just started typing. Before I knew it I had pressed submit without a second thought!.. As always I was in a negative mind frame, as a shield in case of disappointment.. it would have been to much of a knock to my already low confidence level. It was a massive shock when I heard back a few days later with an offer of an interview. I was over the moon, so very happy. This was definitely the positive boost I needed,
Really nervous I headed into Headingly (I felt like I was heading into the unknown for two reasons. 1. I had never been into headingly before and had no idea where I was going and 2. I had no idea what to expect when I got there), I was dressed in a shirt and work trousers, thinking it would be really formal, to later realise that it was a group interview with people turning up in commando shorts and tees. So I definitely felt very overdressed. It was a very relaxed interview with group activities to see if we worked well in teams and how we are in a group of people we did not know. Turn out I got the position of HAT which I found out the next day. To think hundreds of people applied for that position and only 60 got a place, I felt extremely privileged and so very excited! One problem, I was now nervous about meeting new people and whether I would be any good at the position I was given. Okay so I will now cut to the chase and finally tell you about my experience at my first ever festival…
So, who agree with me.. If something need doing, you’ll be like, ah its ages away I have plenty of time and then before you know it you have 2 days to prepare. This is me all over and alarm bells definitely rang when I hadn’t even done a test run of putting my tent up. In my defense it was my brothers tent and he’d decided to lend it to his friends family I didn’t have a choice but to panic until I finally got it back. I pestered my brother into showing me how it was done, he finally caved and it looked pretty easy. Sorted. It actually took less time to put it up when we actually got there. It is definitely a two man job, so thank you to my roomie for helping me 😀 This was my home for the next 5 days. Everyone had camped in a circle so gave it a very welcoming homely feel to it, it was like our little festival village!
I made the rookie error of only taking a sleeping mat with me to the festival, I regretted it instantly. It was pretty much like sleeping directly on the floor, i may as well not have taken it in the first place. But i survived to tell the tale. Everyone was really friendly and I got along with everyone straight away. Cracking open a beer and it wasn’t even 3pm yet. What can say, bunch of rebels haha.. It was so much fun everyone got a lot so well and we just sat in a circle drinking cider and getting to know each other. This is where I got very snap happy so be prepared to be bombarded by many images 😀
These are the first people I met, one being my roomie other being my neighbors and also two of these girlies were in my shift group so we literally spent every second in each others pockets. The weather was amazing I couldn’t have asked for better weather. Like an idiot I forgot to pack sunglasses, I was pretty devastated considering the weather was brilliant and we were currently chilling in the middle of a field. Perfect tanning weather. There is a funny story about that actually but you’ll have to read on to find out 😛 Day one and we all look so fresh, wish i carried on looking that clean by the end of it… Luckily one of my friends lent me hers because she had spares, it was such a lovely gesture considering id only known her for about an hour. I was pretty apprehensive about making friends considering most people had already met before at Latitude and i thought everyone would already have their own little groups. Turned out I fit in quite well and I even managed to acquire a nickname after only a few hours of being there. This nickname stuck throughout the entirety of my festival experience. Top banter being called Alan at the expense of irony…having short hair, a flat chest and big penis. I was introduce to everyone as Alan, to the extent that some people actually thought I was call Alan. Do I really look like a boy people? 😛 It also turned out to be one of the most popular names to be shouted at a festival so that was pretty amusing.
A few of us went for a wander back to the main stretch because as all of us know everything looks different at night. It was suck a beautiful sight fair rides with multicoloured lights glowing in the midst. It added such a relaxed chilled out feeling. You can hear the buzz of conversation and laughter, there was so much going on we didn’t know where to go next. I figured out later on in the week that Rum and roller coasters do not mix at all.. but ill get to that later on. We headed back to camp to see what was going on and chill with a cider or two for the night.
Everybody know that a camping experience is not complete without a camp fire and someone playing the guitar. Everyone sat round in a circle with the fire in the middle, starting up bbqs and drinking beer/cider having such a laugh. It was like a proper little family atmosphere. Drunken antics are always amusing. Some people more drunk than others. Sometimes its good just to watch from the sidelines. The permanent marker came out and peoples tents got attacked by many different images it was quite funny tents with phallic pictures. That sure looks comical in the morning. All in the name of banter hey. The handmade beer bong came out. A funnel, a hanging basket and part of a hose. Was pretty epic. I didn’t want an even worse headache in the morning, because I am obviously not hardcore, so I let everyone else have a go 😛 I headed to bed, well to my very uncomfortable floor bed. Sleep wasn’t easy to come by and it didn’t change the whole time I wast there. Running off adrenalin hell yeah!
We woke up to beautiful sunshine. The best feeling ever is waking up to good weather. We all got handed wristbands t-shirts and hoodies this allowed us to access all parts of the arena. We were split up into groups of 5 and a tour around the whole festival was organised by our managers and we were shown around by our team leaders. It was such a picturesque scene, I got goose bumped due to the amount of people that were at the other end of the festival. It was breathe taking. I was so lucky to get such an amazing chance to show how excel in such roles.
The amount of tents was mental! I had never seen so many in one place before. It was so colourful and beautiful. The atmosphere was immense!! There was so many people it was crazy!.. it from from here I knew I was going to have the time of my life.
We walked all the way down to the bottom, incorporated in the sea of people. We were part this crazy experience. I had never been to a festival before this so i did not know what to expect. My mind was blown when i saw all the tents compiled together, hardly space to walk. Now that is dedication. I got a massive buzz and was high on life! I was like a child at Christmas.
The site is soo big, its crazy but after the tour we headed back to camp and we were allowed to relax for a few hours before we were given our first shift. Before every shift we had to meet at the shed in the arena where we were given information sashes. We were placed at the main entrance. Because it was only the beginning of the festival and most of the arena was closed there wasn’t many people wandering about. Shifts got better as the days went on though. People got more and more drunk and shifts became funny and quite exciting. We came across something everyday. Drunk people are crazy and know no boundaries. Due to our INFORMATION sashes and because we were a group of girls. We were approached by very drunk lads asking us personal question. For example. ‘How big are your tits’ ‘Can I feel’ ‘will you come back to my tent’ it was pretty amusing as we rejected all of them as they tried digging for information. but apparently the information we were giving away wasn’t what they wanted to hear. This happened at least twice a shift. Something we just laughed off and it kept us entertained.
This was our little team 🙂 there was 2 others and our team leader, but we were slit into two groups! unfortunately one had to go home
early so it was the power of two from then on. We were C+ 😉 I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. We got on so well which made shifts a lot more fun. Dancing, singing, giving out information. There was never a dull moment.
We were one of the first people that were allowed near main stage. We thought we would take full advantage and get a picture in front of it while it was till quiet and still green. It didnt stay green for long. This was the last time it was fresh looking. And was definitely the last time it was so quiet.
We also got one of all of us. which you can see below.
The picture isnt very good quality I’m afraid. I thought i could enlarge it but unfortunately it wont go any bigger than this.. sorry guys. You
can see here though that there was quite a few of us. This was from all areas so some of us are H.A.Ts some mangers, leaders, stage crew etc. This was the one and only time we were all ever in the same place at the same time!
After we finished our shifts we were allowed to relax and enjoy the festival experience. Getting involved with the crowds and having a good time.
I met the most amazing people ever and we spend all our free time in each others pockets. Not literally of course 😛 We were like a little festival family. This was taken during We are the in Crowd. I love these guys, such great people! If i had to put it down
to anything, my experience was made by how great the people were. I felt pretty lucky to have met them. It was such a good day!! We got all the way to the front, so they were close enough to touch!
Festival buddies, and friends for life! We became pretty close throughout the festival. This girl here is a legend! She was the girl I literally spend 24/7 with.. Had such a good laugh with her, both on and off shift. Sorry for getting watch tower stuck in my head and repeating singing the same line 😛 was technically your fault though! 😀 haha… I got a major tan those two sunny days, and I had the funniest tan lines ever. My friends wouldnt ever let it drop and it even added a smile to some peoples day. Those who know me, know that i wear my fringe over one side of my face, well the sun obviously couldnt get to that part of my face, so i had half a tanned face and the other half was white, yay! Haha, It was pretty embarrassing but I then decided to just take the mick out of myself and add to the banter. It was funny.
That evening the heavens opened and i actually thought my tent would have sailed away. Very much a downer and such a fabulous day! I am now glad that i took the tent thing seriously and used an expensive one, not just a pop up one. (even though that would have been easier to put up :P) I got soaked through. My wellies which i spend £20 on didn’t even keep the water out! I was literally a drowned rat. Very depressed and wet. My pet hate is having wet feet, and when i took my wellies off in the food tent, i literally poured out like half a litre of water. It made me sad haha. Sat chilling in the food tent with everyone drinking cider to drown our sorrows. Thought we were safe from the rain in there. turns out we were not. the tent flooded and we were now sat in a pool of water. Luckily my tent survived the terrible down pour.
I opened my tent to those whose tents got destroyed and gave them a place to stay for the night. Woke up in the morning to find a mud bath!! As the day went on it got worse. People were losing their shoes and wellies in it, it was that bad. You cant even see our feet here, it was that bad. Many times i nearly face planted it. I am so glad I didn’t otherwise i wouldn’t have been a very happy bunny! Walking from one side of the arena became a challenge in itself. The battle of who can keep hold of their wellies. It was all a laugh though!!
Night of skrillex, the weather was terrible, but it didnt dampen our spirits we were outside dancing in the rain. We “skanked” and whipped out the classic big fish little fish.. i even created a wiggle dance :p please were all static until we started going mental, and then everyone followed dancing the night away. It was the best night so far. Getting drunk off rum and going mental dancing, I also persuaded that it would be a good idea to go onto a few roller coaster, and oh boy did I regret it. Rum and Roller coasters do not mix.. not for me anyways, everyone else was fine.. no word of lie i felt very fragile after that.. but it didnt stop me from having such an epic night!
The last night was pretty eventful, with Eminem ending the whole festival experience the was hardly any space to move. It was fancy dress that day and after shift I didn’t have time to change so I was dressed as a sailor while watching Eminem. Bet that was a sight! People must have camped out there for hours to get a decent spot because by the time I got there it was literally a sea of people. The atmosphere was pretty immense, as Eminem was about the enter the stage the crowd roared, going wild. I got goosebumps! It was crazy how the audience responded. After
So after Eminem had closed, we made our way down to Piccadilly Circus. All buzzed and excited after that brilliant experience I had no idea the night would turn out how it did. In the medical tent. Its so funny looking back on it now but oh my gosh. It was terrible at the time, It was more the shock than anything. But damn it hurt. So who here has watch the Vicar of Dibley? The one where shes being a complete child jumping in puddles, then all of a sudden she gets consumed by one? Funniest thing to watch ever! that happened to me. apart from i was casually just walking i was there one minute and not the next. I didn’t know what had happened I just disappeared in a hole of mud. I did not even see it coming. I decided it would be best to go back to camp as I was on the verge of tears, it really hurt! and I got stopped by a security man who told me I was bleeding. That was interesting. I got taken the the first aid tent and I apparently rang my mum saying I had a hole in my leg, of which I don’t remember saying. Sorry mum for worrying you! I must have looked a sight. in a sailors outfit with mud up to my waist and smelling soo grim! Met my friends who carried me back to our camp, I had been given ibru by one of the security guys.. whether or not it was is a different matter entirely! I was so giddy, proper high on life. a dramatic change to what I was feeling before that. But I was innocent in the whole matter! I woke up in the morning with a massive bruise, looked like id grown a bigger ass!
This was my war wound! Kinda proud of it, and its always a funny story to tell even though it killed like hell for weeks.. I have a battle scar from a festival. It would only happen to me wouldn’t it haha. I arrived home on the monday with major post festival blues, and I still wish i could go back and do it all over again. it was the best experience of my life! Can not wait to do it again next year!! I met people who changed my life. Made my life brighter and happier. So happy I met them.Those people know who they are 🙂
Sorry this has been a very long blog post, but I just had so much to say
Here are a few more pics from my experience, those of which dont have much explaining to go with.
Thank you for taking the time to read this 🙂
sorry about how images have been placed, they are stubborn and wont go where i want them too!